It’s not easy being green

Shrek: The Musical

Big, green and ugly: Where did she get that dress?

Big, green and ugly: Where did she get that dress?

Shrek: The Musical; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Broadway Sacramento/California Musical Theatre at the Community Center Theatre, 1301 L Street; (916) 557-1999 or (916) 808-5181; Through October 2.

Sacramento Community Center Theater

1301 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 808-5291

Rated 4.0

The green Scottish ogre gets the big-stage treatment as Broadway Sacramento presents the touring production of Shrek: The Musical, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori. Stephen Sposito directs the stunning array of both talent and tech that make this a fun-filled night for the family.

Shrek was originally a decidedly non-musical Dreamworks animated film; it remains the story of an ogre named Shrek (Lukas Poost) who is shunned by the local villagers for his difference and—eventually—his reputation for cruelty. But when the cruel Lord Faarquad (Merritt David Janes) evicts them, a load of fairy tale creatures land on his porch—uh, swamp—one day. Shrek sets out to get his swamp back, and he’s aided by a comic talking donkey (André Jordan), a dragon (voiced by Kelly Teal Goyette) and a feisty princess (Liz Shivener). Later, Shrek finds himself with a social dilemma.

The story has wonderful morals about friendship and acceptance, which makes it ideal for children. Add some potty humor and background jokes only parents will appreciate, and you’ve got a guilty pleasure-fest filled with farts, belches and song.

The scenic design and costumes (not to mention fantastic puppets) were off the charts. Whether it was the 25-foot-tall dragon, designed by Tim Hatley and manned by four black-shrouded puppeteers, or the flawless execution of Faarquad’s small stature, the spectacle and grandeur fulfilled any expectation an audience member might have.

The performances were all energetic and enthusiastic, which made the silly (and almost English panto-style) jokes work well with the audience. The children on all sides of this critic were laughing, and this fractured fairy-tale left smiles on a theater’s worth of adult patrons. Spoiler alert: They live happily ever after.